Air Force Baseball: Falcons Headed To Austin For Texas Regional

The Falcons clinched their first Mountain West baseball title ever and now head deep into the heart of Texas for its NCAA regional.

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Air Force Baseball: Falcons Headed To Austin For Texas Regional


The Falcons clinched their first Mountain West baseball title ever and now head deep into the heart of Texas for its NCAA regional.


Contact/Follow @MWCwire

A tough draw.

The Air Force Falcons shocked the college baseball world by rolling through the Mountain West baseball tournament as its four-seed, scoring its first bid in a NCAA regional since 1969. Now, they know their destination.

Air Force, with a record of 30-27, is headed to Austin, where the Texas Longhorns will host the 37th regional in its program’s history. Interestingly, this is not the Falcons’ first trip to Texas this season, either, as they put up 24 runs in splitting two games with the Longhorns back in April.

Texas is the ninth overall seed in the 64-team tournament, earned by virtue of finishing the year as the Big 12 runners-up, compiling a 42-19 record and ranking #19 according to D1Baseball.com.

Joining Air Force in the Texas regional is Conference USA champion Louisiana Tech, who won its tournament with a pair of walk-off wins and will make its second straight postseason appearance after compiling a 42-19 record, and 34-22-1 Dallas Baptist of the Missouri Valley Conference, which will appear in its eighth straight regional.

The Texas regional will begin on Friday afternoon at 12:00 PM MT/11:00 AM PT, with the first game between Texas and Air Force to be broadcast on the Longhorn Network. Louisiana Tech and Dallas Baptist will play later that same day, at 5:00 PM MT/4:00 PM PT, on ESPN+.

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Major League Baseball Got You Down? Try The Mountain West.

MLB and Rob Manfred might be canceling games, but Mountain West baseball is already in full swing with plenty of stories to follow.

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Major League Baseball Got You Down? Try The Mountain West.


MLB and Rob Manfred might be canceling games, but Mountain West baseball is already in full swing with plenty of stories to follow.


Contact/Follow @MattK_FS & @MWCwire

The national pastime is alive and well on college diamonds.

You might think it’s a terrible time to be a baseball fan in America.

This afternoon, Major League Baseball commissioner Rob Manfred announced the cancelation of Opening Day and the rest of the 2022 season’s first two series, a cut necessitated (at least from the team owners’ point of view) by the inability to resolve the league’s ongoing lockout, drawing ire from both the MLB Players Association and fans alike. In a lot of ways, it isn’t a great time to be a baseball fan in America… but then college baseball season began about a week and a half ago.

Mountain West football and Mountain West basketball have had, are having, hellacious campaigns of their own, so while college baseball doesn’t usually capture quite the same level of regional and national attention, the Mountain West is as good a bet as any to fill the breach left in MLB’s wake.

So why should you pay attention? Here are a handful of the most compelling reasons.

Paul Skenes

The Air Force Falcons haven’t made an NCAA tournament appearance since 1969, but their opponents will tell you just how much of a headache they can be to face. Under manager Mike Kazlausky, now in his 13th year with the program, Air Force has finished .500 or better in four of the last five full seasons (not counting the curtailed 2020 campaign) and had four players selected in the MLB Draft. Paul Skenes, a Golden Spikes semifinalist in 2021, could be number five.

A two-way player who pitches and plays catcher — eat your heart out, Brendan McKay — Skenes hit .410 last spring with 11 home runs and paced the Mountain West with 131 total bases. On the mound, he had a 2.70 ERA and struck out 30 hitters in 26.2 innings, so while he’s off to a bit of a slow start in this young season, you never know when he could break out and do something few players in the country can accomplish.

A new era in New Mexico

Ray Birmingham is synonymous with baseball in New Mexico, but after 43 years, including 14 years (and 414 wins) with the Lobos, he retired after the 2021 and now seems to enjoy extolling the virtues of the Land of Enchantment.

New head coach Tod Brown obviously has some big shoes to fill, but he’s familiar with what it takes to succeed, too, with 341 wins in 14 years at North Dakota State. Other new arrivals, like senior infielder Kamron Willman (Kansas State transfer) and sophomore outfielder Jeffrey David (Dallas Baptist) have also gotten off to strong starts, so the Lobos may not be too far away from claiming their first conference crown since 2017.

Hunter Dorraugh

North Carolina State’s Tommy White has become a Twitter sensation with nine home runs in the Wolfpack’s first eight games, but if you look at the national leaderboard you’ll notice that San Jose State outfielder Hunter Dorraugh is right on his tail for the moment.

After transferring to the program from Sacramento State, Dorraugh is hitting .357 with seven home runs for the Spartans through their first eight games. Should we have seen this coming? After all, his first career hit with the Hornets back in 2020 was a dinger, too, so while it remains to be seen if he can keep this up, his early season performance definitely deserves more attention.

The Nevada Wolf Pack

TJ Bruce’s squad didn’t make much headway in their NCAA regional appearance last spring, but that didn’t dissuade voters from selecting the Wolf Pack as the Mountain West’s overwhelming preseason favorite to win the conference once again.

That’s because Nevada arguably boasts the Mountain West’s best trio of bats in infielders Joshua Zamora and Tyler Bosetti and outfielder Dario Gomez, all of whom were all-conference selections in 2021. That group, along with sophomore Jacob Stinson, could easily power Nevada back to the top.

It’s baseball that’s free to stream and cheap to go see in person

If you’re so inclined, just keep the Mountain West baseball schedule handy because, as of March 1, you can stream at least one game nearly every single day. As we all know, free is hard to beat!

Better yet, it’s free to go see Air Force baseball live. It costs five dollars at New Mexico (and it’s free if you’re a student), six dollars at San Diego State and UNLV if you pay in advance ($10 day off), eight dollars for a ticket at Nevada, and ten dollars at Fresno State. It never hurts to support local and give each program a shot in the arm by being there live.

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Calling All Writers: Come Write For Mountain West Wire!

Are you a writer with a passion for Mountain West Conference athletics? If so, Mountain West Wire is looking for you.

Calling All Writers: Come Write For Mountain West Wire!


Are you a writer with a passion for Mountain West Conference athletics? If so, we’re looking for you.


Contact/Follow @MattK_FS & @MWCwire

We could use your help.

Hello everyone! Since we started this venture back in 2017, we here at Mountain West Wire have striven to provide the absolute best coverage of Mountain West athletics you’ll find anywhere. Thankfully, our readers have made it all worthwhile, by letting us know what they want while following us on Twitter and Facebook.

Now, we’re looking to get better and we need you to do it.

Mountain West Wire needs more writers to provide coverage of certain teams so, if you’re interested in joining our ranks, please send a cover letter stating your particular interest and prior writing experience, as well as a writing sample of 300 to 500 words, to mattkenerly333@gmail.com and JeremyMauss@gmail.com. Aspiring journalists and writers of color are especially encouraged to submit their work.

This position has a little bit of money involved which is based on page views. Think of it like a few extra bucks for lunch or drinks, keeping in mind that the more you’d like to get involved, the more views you could generate for your work.

In the past, a few of our writers have gone on to bigger and better things with newspapers, radio stations, digital platforms, and other publications. If you want to use this opportunity to brush up on your writing skills and get noticed, we can provide that. If you want to have some fun scratching an itch for your fandom, this is an outlet for that, too.

Our work has been featured on ESPN, CBS Sports, Yahoo!, Bleacher Report, USA TODAY, Rotoworld, and other major publications.

Here are the positions we’d like to fill:

College Football

The gridiron is our bread and butter, so even though the 2020 season is still very much in the air, you can still come write about the season that never truly ends.

Our current priorities are finding writers to cover HawaiiSan Jose StateUNLV, and Wyoming. However, if you have an interest in any teams not mentioned here, we’re also open to that because more coverage is always better.

College Basketball

Hoops season is year-round, as well, so help us cover the unpredictable race to the top.

We’re especially interested in finding writers to cover Air Force, Boise State, Fresno State, San Jose State, UNLV, and Wyoming. As with football, though, if you don’t see a team mentioned here, don’t let that keep you from reaching out.

Recruiting

We don’t typically dive too deeply into recruiting but, if that’s your thing, it would provide some content to which we don’t usually attend. Football and basketball are the go-to sports in this area.

Pro Sports

Obviously, there are a lot of pros who got their start in the Mountain West, so if you want to give updates on MLB, NFL, NBA or other pros from the league, that would be a different angle we like to cover.

We also want to cover the various pro drafts throughout the year, so if you’re a film junkie, most interested in examining how the conference’s best will make the jump, we’d be happy to have that.

Miscellaneous

Want to cover Olympic sports within the Mountain West? Now’s your chance.

This includes things like Mountain West baseball and softball, women’s basketball, soccer, track and field or any of the conference’s varsity other sports. Whether you want to focus on one team or the whole conference, let us know!

Additionally, e-sports has been a recent addition to the conference, too. Not many people write about collegiate e-sports at the moment, so this could be a chance to find a niche and provide some exposure to those in the Mountain West who are participating.

Finally, we could also use someone with an interest in creating short videos to embed in each post so, if that’s your field of expertise, you can contact us about that.

School/topic not listed? If your interest isn’t mentioned above, we still want to hear from you. It takes a team to provide the peak of Mountain West Conference coverage, so join us today!

Mountain West Conference Suspends Spring Athletic Events Indefinitely

The coronavirus’s impact on the American sports landscape finally reaches the Mountain West.

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Mountain West Conference Suspends Spring Athletic Events Indefinitely


The coronavirus’s impact on the American sports landscape finally reaches the Mountain West.


Contact/Follow @MattK_FS & @MWCwire

The conference moves quickly to stay safe.

Yesterday, the coronavirus made its biggest mark on American pop culture to date, touching everything from Tom Hanks to the NBA. Today, the Mountain West Conference made a move to be proactive that reflects many of the decisions being made elsewhere on the sports landscape.

As of today, all MWC sporting events have been postponed. In a press release put out by associate commissioner Javan Hedlund, exceptions will be made for those teams who are currently on the road, but it touches a number of sports like baseball and softball.

This decision by the conference also exempts teams who have qualified for an NCAA championship like Utah State and San Diego State men’s basketball or Boise State women’s basketball. However, other projected top seeds like Duke have preemptively tapped the brakes on participating in the men’s tourney, putting an on-time presentation in doubt:

The statement also leaves the status of Mountain West football’s spring games and recruiting processes at the discretion of each university. Some programs like Fresno State have not announced a formal response to COVID-19, but others like New Mexico have taken steps to close practices and Pro Day to the public at present, presumably with an eye on periodic reassessment before the spring game on April 4:

We will keep you updated on any further coronavirus-related developments.

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Mountain West Basketball Transfer Game: Where Are They Now?

Where did some of your favorite players end up? In short the AAC, AEC, Big East, Big Sky, Big Ten, Big West C-USA, Division 2 & 3, Horizon, MAAC, MAC, MEAC, MVC, NAIA, NJCAA, PAC-12, RMAC, SEC, Southland, Summit, SWAC, WAC Contact/Follow …

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Where did some of your favorite players end up? 


In short the AAC, AEC, Big East, Big Sky, Big Ten, Big West C-USA, Division 2 & 3, Horizon, MAAC, MAC, MEAC, MVC, NAIA, NJCAA, PAC-12, RMAC, SEC, Southland, Summit, SWAC, WAC 


Contact/Follow @HardwoodTalk & @MWCwire

What are past Mountain West Players up to this season?

College basketball’s allure comes with its many different facets and components. Things like recruiting, geographic rivalries and a tournament that produces Cinderella-like stories for underdog schools in the nooks and crannies of this great country, it’s all so great.

But there are also some things we would consider changing if left up to us, like maybe an expanded tournament field (maybe), better metrics for grading tournament teams, hardship waivers have been an issue and NCAA rulings when it comes to eligibility. Sometimes you take what you can get, but an aspect of college basketball that always comes with mixed emotions is the transferring of players. This is something that can go either way for fans as we get excited when our teams bring guys in but wish others would have stayed (for the most part).

Now guys transfer for a multitude of reasons and fans should never hold grudges against 18-24-year-old individuals who at the end of the day have the right to look for the best opportunity for themselves. Some guys get buried on the bench by increased depth, move to be closer to home or find opportunities at larger institutions where they can play against a higher level of talent on television on a weekly basis. It’s okay, and remember these things happen.

There are also coaching changes that occur in every conference across the country, which bring a level of turnover inside a program that can only be matched by corporate takeovers. Never the less if you are like me and glance at box scores, check-in on the occasional American East game, notice offers to familiar names on JUCO sites or find yourself genuinely curious asking yourself questions like, “what happened to that guy?” or “I wonder how he is doing?”, then this list is for you.

There are other former Mountain West players out their with college eligibility but this list aims at finding the guys with a nice internet trail and letting you know how they’re doing on their new team.

Things to note:

  • There may be a few transfers out there sitting out the 2019-2020 season due to transfer rules. These guys won’t be reflected here, that’s a topic for another day.
  • If a player still has college eligibility but maybe stopped playing college basketball all together or their trail ran cold, they aren’t listed below.
  • If a player is still playing but was dismissed from a team and didn’t transfer, they were also left off of this list.
  • Lastly you won’t see guys who left teams to turn pro with college eligibility still remaining either.

Now let’s get to it.